According to CNN, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Fox News and other news outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the country would be better off if Murdoch left the industry.
Appearing on CNN‘s Reliable Sources with host Brian Stelter on Sunday, de Blasio insisted that Murdoch’s news outlets, like Fox News and The New York Post, “put race front and center, and they try to stir the most negative impulses in this country.”
De Blasio also went on to assert that Donald Trump would not have been elected if it were not for the various news outlets that Murdoch owns and runs, claiming that without them, the country might have been less divided. “There would be less overt hate, there would be less appeal to racial division,” de Blasio said.
Stelter, however, countered de Blasio’s assertion, noting that the New York City Mayor was beginning to echo the President’s own sentiments about the media and news outlets, adding that “politicians make lousy media critics.”
Attempting to backtrack, de Blasio insisted that he is not against the media and would, in fact, actively defend all news outlets’ “right to exist.”
“I believe in a free, strong media with diverse views. I’ll defend it with all I’ve got,” he said. “But we have to be able to call out when a particular company has a corporate agenda, has a political agenda, and has very effectively changed the American discourse.”
Then, doubling down on his initial claim that Murdoch’s news outlets have caused the country more harm than good, de Blasio added that networks like Fox News are “dividing people and creating hatred and negativity and changing our political landscape for the worse.”
“I think we have to be able to talk about that,” he continued. “We have to respect their constitutional rights, of course, but we also are consumers. We’re also citizens. If we don’t talk about it and they continue to do this to our country, something is wrong.”
When asked if de Blasio himself has considered running for President in 2020, he simply noted, “I am mayor of New York City, and I will continue to be. My term goes to 2021.”
While Murdoch’s media empire has been denounced before, de Blasio appears to be the first politician to voice his criticism so publicly and vehemently.
Murdoch’s corporations, including 21st Century Fox and News Corp, could not be reached for comment.